Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA, expounded on how the combination of MetroPCS and T-Mobile is accelerating the carrier’s LTE strategy, as Deutsche Telekom hosted a Capital Markets Day at its headquarters, Dec. 6, in Bonn, Germany.
T-Mobile’s LTE rollout will reach 100 million pops in the first half of 2013 and 200 million pops at the end of the year. It will achieve a two-by-10 MHz LTE position in nearly 90 percent of the top 25 service areas in 2013 in the AWS band and then expand to a two-by-20 MHz position in 2014 and 2015. Release 10-capable LTE equipment and tower top amplifiers will be implemented at 37,000 cell sites across T-Mobile’s network.
“We are excited about what the MetroPCS combination does for us in allowing the deployment of LTE in the AWS band, rapidly accelerating our deployment,” Ray said. “We have a lot of capacity coming online to support the migration of MetroPCS customers. Look to see the completion of the migration in 2015, which is when we will begin to decommission their CDMA system.”
Complementing its 225 million pop HSPA+ AWS position, T-Mobile is also rapidly expanding its HSPA + footprint in the 1900 MHz band, which will surpass 100 million pops by year end 2012, reach 170 million pops in the first half of next year and then to 200 million pops by year end 2013. In Bonn, T-Mobile announced another three service areas – Atlanta, Minneapolis and Seattle in addition to the 15 markets already announced, which included Miami; Phoenix; San Francisco; Mesa and Tucson, Ariz.; Modesto, Oakland, San Jose and Stockton, Calif.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“We are in the middle of refarming, replacing GSM [at 1900 MHz],” Ray said. “We have completed clearance of the band and are now rapidly introducing HSPA+ in 1900 MHz PCS spectrum.”
John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile USA, confidently announced that the carrier will soon be able to AT&T’s network.
“All the growing pains of getting this huge modernization and transformation process are done,” he said. “It took a while to ramp up to full speed, but we will hit those targets.”